Species Specific > Japanese Maple Bonsai Discussion

My new japanese maple.

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M. Frary:
   Just purchased my first Japanese maple yesterday. The tag said Acer palmatum red pygmy. It must be referring to the leaves cause there is nothing pygmy about it. The tree is about 7 to 8 feet tall.
  This is it at time of purchase.

M. Frary:
  Notice the burlap? Any ideas on what's hiding under there?
  I've got a good idea. And it's not a pretty thought. Even though this is my first maple it's not the first time seeing this.
  This is rock hard clay. I don't do clay. It worries me. I know I know. Akadama is clay. Never tried it. Never even seen it.
  So I unwrap the burlap and get the hose. Even though the tree has leaves I'm still going to wash some( well a lot) off.
  This is what was in there. A graft which I was kind of hoping for.
  Why? Because like most people I'm cheap and greedy. I'll admit it even though most people don't. I was looking for a graft because I will be layering the crap out of this and I'll probably get 5 of the red leaf variety and a forest planting but I also get a regular green Acer palmatum from the stump.
 And a bunch of circling roots. Awesome. Look at that!
 I didn't really want to cut any roots but that one next to the trunk is coming off. And that will be it.
 After all that the tree goes back into the bucket with all new soil. Mainly Napa floor dry and large turkey grit with some pine bark waved over it to make feel better.
 Since I live in a zone lower than this tree is rated for it will stay in this bucket till I'm done working it. Every spring I'll pull it and do some root work but mainly it's going to be a layering factory.
  One last thing. Did I mention I paid $90.00 for this?

jlushious:
That's awesome, you will definitely get lots out of it. I did the same thing with a maple I have. I haven't started layering it yet, I'd be interested in how successful the layers are because the top varieties are usually the weaker ones aren't they?

Anyways, here are pics of mine! Pretty high up graft scar.

M. Frary:
  I guess some may be weaker on their own roots. At least that is what one reads isn't it. Don't believe everything you read. I believe that since everyone at the party here is Acer palmatum the layers should be just as strong as the rootstock.
  Most times trees are grafts just to save space at nurserys. They grow the rootstock trees and graft scions off of one tree to put on those.

John Kirby:
Mfrary, then you would be wrong. The trees are grafted because they don'tbreed true by seed (or are sterile) or they are too week to support themselves well on their own roots, at least in the landscape. Check Vertrees or Dirr online and see what they say about your variety.

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